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02 May 2020


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Our small town in Central Texas is not so different than Penni's, except perhaps in degree. Local FB updates on Covid-19 responses are littered with people saying, "If you're scared, then stay the f home." When we went to pick up our curbside CSA order yesterday, we were the only ones wearing masks when we opened our trunks remotely, except for the person bringing the order to our car. As we drove around our busy small downtown toward home, no one was wearing masks as they went in and out of restaurants newly opened. The vegetarian/vegan cafe where we pickup curbside orders to help keep them in business has decided not to open for dine-in customers, however, but such measures are taken as unpatriotic. For us, it means being more careful and perhaps more hesitant about any needed medical care if that should come up because we know we'll be sitting among people who do not believe that masks are helpful, and think it's okay to kill off the weak so that they don't miss their next haircuts. My jogs in the early mornings have to take place earlier and earlier. I bring a mask with me in case I encounter anyone, but we usually go past each other on opposite sides of the street. One man decided to abruptly cross the street and talk to me, even as I'm backing up to the end of my dog's leash, saying, "I'm backing up, since I'm immuno-compromised." He didn't stop until he got to my 72-pound Great Pyr mix, who--excited at the hullabaloo--jumped on him since the leash was loose and I wasn't paying attention to keeping her at heel at that moment. He stopped only then, not because I was clearly uncomfortable. Yet, most of my close friends believe as I do, even here. Our neighbors frequently contact us when headed to the store, no matter their beliefs. Mostly, in our immediate world, people have been kind. I'm not afraid of Covid-19 because I know what to do to protect us, but I'm wary now of outside reactions.

I wonder where in CA Penni lives. I'm sorry for the idiots endangering everyone there. Here in my CA town everyone I see on the streets is following the guidelines. I wonder what will happen in the next month with those who describe their stupidity as patriotism.

Goodspeed to you, dear Corey! I pray that soon you will be able to return to you family in France. Sending love!

Not sure if you remember me, but you sent me some vintage postcards wrapped in sheet music back in 2007. I lived in Harker Heights, Texas and had two little ones along with a deployed husband. We finally moved to our forever home, husband retired, and those little ones are known high school. We moved from Texas, to Kentucky, to Oklahoma, to Kansas, and finally settled in Pennsylvania. Just this past week, my daughter found those post cards. Ironically she is taking French and has a Paris themed bathroom. She wanted to put them up on her wall with sticky paste. After looking at them and realizing one is from 1908 and one from 1927, I told her we would have them framed. Then I decided, I must try to find you again!

Spring is promise. I cherish the yellow daffodils, the sweet scent of lilacs, the buds of the peonies, the vigorous growth everywhere.
I wish everyone some of the peace and comfort found in the garden.
Corey, you are always an inspiration. Hugs to you and yours.
Hugs to all as we grapple with these times and the unknown.

How I love your stories about Muguet (I wonder how that is pronounced phoenetically?). In Michigan, where I lived for the first 30 years of my life, Lily of the Valley was always one of the first harbingers of Spring, often peeking their little heads above some late snow. My grand mother would gather little bouquets and scatter them throughout the house. My daughter spent her first 7 years frequenting my grandmother's home and she associates the wonderful aroma with her beloved great grandmother, now long gone. It is difficult to grow Lilly of the Valley here in the part of Chico where I live.(And Lilacs also struggle to survive here.) Whenever i come across soaps, bath salts or lotions infused with the aroma of Muguet, I purchase it to include in my daughter's Christmas stocking, Easter basket or birthday gifts. Lilly of the Valley always gives me the thrill of good things to come. I am thinking of it now as we face the "challenge after the challenge".

Corey, I'm so sorry you have not been able to return home. It's been 8 years since I spent a week outside of Lacoste in a French cooking school. I loved traveling to the local markets and seeing the countryside. I found your blog years ago and haven't checked in very many times since I retired 8 years ago, just too busy. God bless you for coming home to be with your family. Your photos and writings are so sweet and I didn't realize how I've missed them. I, too, have read Educated, it was a book selected by the University of Indiana book club. It gave me understanding of a new young friend I had met that grew up in Idaho and had a similar story. Amazing how small our world is. I live outside Seattle and love it in the NW. We had planned a trip to Switzerland, Germany, France and Holland on a river cruise, we were supposed to leave tomorrow. It was cancelled, but all things happen for a reason. May you have a safe and healthy stay in Ca. and a safe trip home. Blessings.

Penni and Linda I wish you both wellness and health, and the same to Corey and all her readers. Here is West LA, masks and gloves are in style...now they make them in everything from fake Louis Vuitton to rainbow. There are no restaurant meals, only takeout available at a few places. Outside, most runners have masks; I resent the few that do not. People will step out into the street out of courtesy when the sidewalk is narrow, so there is plenty of room, and wave and thank those that did so. Today the farmer's market was open for the first time in weeks. But it was one-way, with an entry and an exit point, and only a few inside at once (even though it was outdoor market). There are 3 people on our street that have had it. All had traveled internationally in the prior months.

Linda, someone crossing the street to break social distancing is unacceptable. And as for Confederate flags, well that says all you need to know about who you're dealing with really.

In the meantime I've discovered old vine Zin and Nestle's toll house cookies.

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